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According to a report from Staffing Industry Analysts, the state of healthcare coverage for temporary employees in North America has greatly improved since 2014. The report is the result of a survey that respondents completed late last year, detailing their healthcare coverage and other benefits.

Healthcare coverage

The majority of temporary workers reported that they received healthcare coverage:

  • From an independent source, such as their spouse or from veterans benefits (53%) 
  • From their staffing firm (26%)
  • From both an independent source and their staffing firm (6%)

Only 15% said they did not have any healthcare benefits. 

Even though 77% of temporary employees had access to healthcare benefits through their staffing firm, only 42% signed up to them. Most temporary workers said they were already receiving health coverage from alternative sources, such as: 

  • Spouse/partner benefits (42%)
  • Private medical insurance (25%)
  • State/federal healthcare exchange (24%)

There was also a lot of variation between healthcare coverage for temporary commercial staff and temporary professional staff: 

Healthcare benefitsCommercialProfessional
From an independent source54%52%
Provided by staffing firm15%32%
From both independent source and staffing firm5%7%
No healthcare benefits26%9%

These numbers show improvements — back in 2014, 40% of commercial temporary workers and 20% of professionals were without healthcare coverage. 

Other benefits

Outside of healthcare coverage, temporary workers reported receiving additional benefits from their staffing firms, such as dental (36%), vision (31%), 401-K (22%), and life insurance (20%). Staffing firms were more likely to offer such benefits to professional temporary employees. 

More pay or better benefits? 

When asked which was more important — a pay increase or improved benefits — most temporary workers preferred better pay. 

Using a 0 to 6 scale — in which 0 placed the highest value on pay over benefits and 6 most valued benefits over pay — 36% of temporary employees chose the “0” option. Only 11% chose “6,” and 22% were in the middle at “3.”

Source: North America Temporary Worker Survey 2020, from Staffing Industry Analysts